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Peru vs. Chile: South America’s Great Pisco War

Peru vs Chile South America s Great Pisco War The Daily Beast


Pisco Porton’s master distiller Johnny Schuler was explaining the regulations of origin in Peru for making pisco when I struck his nerve.

We were on a bus on the way to the Porton distillery in the department of Ica, about three hours south of Lima, Peru, when I innocently asked him how Peru and Porton, with all of the recent work they had done distinguishing their national spirit in the marketplace, dealt with Chilean pisco. 

In other words, how did they explain the difference to drinkers?

Schuler paused and took a deep breath and I prepared for a diatribe.¬†But it was a simple, concise answer: ‚ÄúThey are not the same. Why do they have the same name? Because Chile won the war!‚Ä̬†

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Pisco is 43-proof brandy.

Mosto verde style is when the pisco has been made with grapes that have not fully fermented and rests for a minimum of 12 months, while puro is made with one grape. Acholado is a pisco made from a blend of grapes.

Chilean pisco has seemingly lower standards: It can be distilled to a higher proof and brought down by adding water, additives, and flavorings. Up to 15 grapes may be used but just a few of them are popular. Chilean pisco can rest in wood. 

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